North River Dental
Online reviews are starting to have a greater impact on all business including dentists. In my quest to uncover the secrets of the highest reviewed dental offices in the country, I continue to come across very impressive and well-run practices. North River Dental in Ellenton, Florida is another one of these gems.
North River Dental
I had the pleasure of talking with their office manager, Tammy, to try and document some of her tips and tricks used to grow their online reviews from 80 to over 250 Google reviews in just over one year.
Patients Per Day
Reviews Per Month
So How Did They Do It?
First off, there is no silver bullet. Every single highly reviewed dental practice is built on a very friendly staff, a well-run practice, and a great dentist. But, there are three things that stand out about North River Dental when it comes to reviews:
They keep reviews top of mind for all of their staff.
They educate their staff on the importance of reviews.
They hold each other accountable.
How they do those three things can be easily understood when you hear what a typical day is like for their office.
A Typical Day At North River Dental
Every morning, they start the day with a huddle (a short 5-10 minute standing meeting), and they discuss the big things for that particular day. There are certain things that they talk about every day. Reviews is one of those things. Tammy says, “Dr. Delrose reminds the team every single day, ‘Please don’t forget to ask for Google Reviews.’ So it’s in our mind every day at 7:45 before we even see our first patient that that’s something that we need to focus on.”
So, it’s in our mind every day at 7:45 before we even see our first patient…
Ask Every Patient
They keep things in perspective, and they understand that not every patient is going to leave them a review. Tammy says that they “see between 100 and 125 patients a day, so even if we have a one percent success rate, that’s one Google review every day.”
Every single patient that comes in their office is a potential reviewer, so they make sure to ask every patient for a review. Whenever possible, if a patient is really excited and happy about their experience, they will give them an opportunity to leave a review while they are in the chair.
A team is only as successful as the players on the team, and Dr. Delrose has done a fantastic job of explaining to the staff why reviews are important. Tammy says that Dr. Delrose tells the staff, “People will typically go out and look at reviews before they go somewhere. So, let’s make sure that we have plenty of data for our patients to look at.”
People will typically go out and look at reviews before they go somewhere.
Evening Accountability Check-In
One of the most undervalued characteristics of great teams is holding each other accountable. The staff at North River Dental does an excellent job in this area. They meet at the end of every day to follow up. “We talk about how many patients committed to giving us a Google review,” Tammy says, “so we’re also held accountable at the end of the day, to see who is talking to patients and who is actually getting a commitment from patients.”
What’s The Secret?
Tammy says, “We talk about it literally every day in the office.”
What about Negative Reviews?
When it comes to reviews, no one enjoys seeing negative ones. But, if you are in business, you are bound to run across an unhappy customer now and then. North River Dental is no different. As Tammy says,
Every now and then we received a negative review here and there, sporadically. I mean you can’t get 100 percent success with good Google reviews.
But, what is more important and impressive is what North River Dental does when they get a negative review. She shared that every time they get a negative review they make sure to do several things:
- We respond to the review.
- We ensure that we do not violate HIPAA.
- We are not defensive.
- We apologize if they didn’t have a great experience.
- In some scenarios, we call the patient and leave a voicemail, and ask them to call so we can resolve the situation.
Here are some examples of responses to negative reviews:
Why go through the hassle of responding to negative reviews?
The reason they go through these steps when they get negative reviews is to “show people that we are responsive even to negative reviews.”
Word-Of-Mouth Referrals Are Still King
Tammy says that they ask every single new patient, “How did you find out about our office?” Because of this extra attention that they are putting into how patients are finding them, they are able to run reports every month to monitor their referral channels. What is probably not surprising to most other dentists reading this is that the majority of their new patients today are still coming from existing patients’ word-of-mouth referrals. But, they have started to notice that there is a small (but, growing) percentage of patients that say they found North River Dental through their Google reviews. Tammy says, “Every time I run the report, there’s always several patients from our Google reviews. It’s hasn’t been anything substantial, but I would say I’m noticing higher numbers now.”
Every time I run the report, there’s always several patients from our Google reviews. It’s hasn’t been anything substantial, but I would say I’m noticing higher numbers now.
Google Reviews Also Are Helping With Larger Cases
Larger restoration cases can be big investments for patients, and it is possible that these cases could very well be among the invisible revenue when it comes to calculating the return on investment of Google Reviews. Tammy said that she really does think that their Google reviews have helped them with their acceptance rate with their implant and restoration cases. She says, “I mean a full mouth restoration is $44,000. You’re probably going to take a close look at the office you’re dealing with before you hand them a check for forty-four grand. So I think that it has helped improve some of the acceptance rates with our implant cases as well.”
… A full mouth restoration is $44,000. You’re probably going to take a close look at the office you’re dealing with before you hand them a check for forty-four grand.
Slow ‘N Steady Wins The Race
In summary, North River Dental did not get to 250 Google reviews overnight. This is something that they have been working on for several years. However, since refocusing on reviews last January, they have been averaging receiving 12 reviews per month. On January 5, 2017, they had 82 Google Reviews, and in 14 months they have gained 171 reviews.